John Calipari’s switch to zone just enough to slow down Missouri

John Calipari - photo by Tammie Brown | East KY Media
John Calipari – photo by Tammie Brown | East Media

There are some promises you just can’t keep. For John Calipari, that seemed to be the use of a zone defense.

For most of Coach Cal’s career, he’s won with tough-nosed, man-to-man defense, so there’s never really been a reason to change course. He’d talked about using a zone with this lengthy team and even teased it by using it in a couple of games, but he had never really gone to it with the outcome on the line.

Until Saturday.

Struggling to slow ’s high-scoring back court, Calipari added a much-needed wrinkle to his defense on Saturday with a 2-3 zone. It turned out to be just what the doctor ordered in ’s 84-79 victory over Missouri, temporarily slowing down Jabari Brown and Jordan Clarkson late in the first half and allowing to build a 10-point halftime lead.

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